I’ve been battling breakouts (I know! At my age! 😛 ) which are thankfully subsiding, and I’m starting to look normal again. But when I mentioned it in my previous post, some readers suggested using witch hazel. A lightbulb went off in my head and I went home to dig around my cupboard of goodies.
I knew I had a witch hazel product out there somewhere! And I did. It’s the Boots Tea Tree + Witch Hazel Foaming Face Wash. I know, I know… yet another foaming face wash. Don’t I ever tire of this? Erm… no 😀
I must tell you about this one because its such a lovely find and I pick up a bottle every time I go to Bangkok, which is the closest place I can find a Boots pharmacy. This is my 3rd or is it 4th bottle, and I actually stumbled on it by accident.
The first time I picked this face wash up was from the discount bin at a Boots pharmacy in Bangkok. It was going for something like 99 Baht (about RM9.90) and I was in my “Ooh so cheap! Let me try!” phase. I personally find that products containing tea tree oil help me in keeping breakouts and spots at bay, so I like using them in face washes. I usually use the Tea Tree Oil face wash from The Body Shop but this has replaced that as my de facto tea tree oil face wash, simply because its so much cheaper (but so damned hard to source!)
This is your typical foaming face wash that pumps out a foam, so texture is quite conventional. There is also the signature tea tree oil scent which some like and some hate. I fall into the like category. I like the sharp astringent scent because it makes me think “Clean! Zit buster!” but the scent is tempered a little in this one, perhaps because of the witch hazel addition, so it isn’t very strong.
I don’t find this one drying, contrary to the fact that its a foaming face wash and it is one of those targeted at oily skin types. My hands – my first bastion of detecting products that are drying on skin – do not dry out or peel which means this is pretty good as far as I’m concerned. You will naturally have to follow up with your regular skincare and moisturizers, but at least it doesn’t cause your skin to feel dry and stretched immediately after washing.
I don’t have a serious acne problem nor oily skin so I use this more like a maintenance type of face wash. I like that it seems to do a decent job keeping my skin clean, and that it helps me keep zits and spots at bay. My skin is healing already and I can’t say if its a combination of this face wash and the blemish gel or if my hormones just said “Ooh, lets stop bouncing around and stabilize for a minute” but things are looking up and skin is clearing up so yay!
In a nutshell
This is a foaming face wash containing tea tree oil and witch hazel and is the in house brand of Boots Pharmacy. I get mine from Bangkok whenever I go. I’ve been using this for a few years now, off and on and I like how it keeps my skin clean and clear. I don’t find it drying either and it makes an inexpensive face wash that smells great and works.
Pros: Affordable, Not drying, Seems to help clear up and prevent breakouts and spots
Cons: Not available in Malaysia
Who will like this: Those for whom tea tree oil works on spots and blemishes, Those who have oily or combination skin that are prone to breakouts, Those on a budget
Here is the ingredient list for those who are interested.
I was looking on the Boots website and noticed that the packaging now looks different and its now called the Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel face wash. That might have been why the ones I buy keep ending up in the discount bin… not that I’m complaining of course. I don’t know the full retail price in Bangkok because I always seem to be able to get them on sale when I go but I believe it should cost under RM20 a bottle at full retail. Once I’m done with this bottle, its time for another trip to Bangkok! 😉
Have you by any chance used this Boots Tea Tree + Witch Hazel face wash? Do you have anything else you like picking up from Boots pharmacies? I love going to Boots. I always find something to pick up, random as it might be.
I recall there was a small counter/store selling stuff from Boots at The Curve a few years ago. I’m not sure if its still there but I never checked it out then (Reader Kel has confirmed that this counter/store no longer exists) Anyone know if we can get Boots stuff locally (Malaysia) and know if they stock this face wash?
Boots Tea Tree + Witch Hazel Foaming Face Wash Price: £3.59/150ml Availability: Boots pharmacies
28 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Renee | Beauty Fool says
AHH! Boots 🙂 When I was in London my hotel was near a Boots shop and… it’s like beauty lovers paradise. I had no idea they made their own skincare line. I know Phuket also has Boots (I guess all of Thailand does!), so much fun!
Anyway, haha! Witch hazel is great for acne and oily skin in general, I remember using it in highschool… no idea why I stopped, now I want to use it again 😀 Thanks for the review 🙂
Paris B says
When I go to London, I tend to pop into every Boots pharmacy I see. Different ones have different stocks and I’m always so curious. I was in London many years ago and would walk past a Boots store every day on my way back from the train station. Absolute joy to step in there out of the cold 😀
I have tried their Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Night Gel and it works wonders on zits but I will keep this product in mind the next time I get a breakout *touches wood* =D
Paris B says
Ooh! I wish they had the gel here then! I only have this foaming face wash. Never thought to buy anything else because I’m not that acne prone anymore. Still, its great to know the night gel works on zits and that you have this easily available to you!
I have recently become a fan of foaming cleansers currently loving the Neutrogena Hydra Boost (blue bottle)..it was at a sale at 2 for less than $20 last yr at watsons so I grabbed it cos my skin was being weird, at that time.. dry and sensitive and greasy at all once lol! anyways after using the Hydra Boost Foaming Cleanser I now lean towards foaming ones than non foaming ones..More gentle on the skin I feel and since foam is water + air hence not too much product is dispensed at once and hence I think the reason why the tea tree foaming cleanser is not drying, and it being soap free too so its gentler on the skin 🙂 yay to foaming cleansers lol
Paris B says
I found the scent in the Neutrogena Hydra Boost range too strong so I didn’t try the cleanser, but I was told by a friend that it does work very well and isn’t drying. Great to know you think that way too! I might give it a go next time I’m at a loose end 😀
Nah..the Boots counter at The Curve has closed shop eons ago….our nearest is now Thailand… 🙂
Awww… I was all excited when I saw it was available at the curve… =(
I wanna try boots for ages!! Heard it is good! And cheap!
Paris B says
Boots own brand stuff are pretty good and very affordable. If you ever go to Thailand, check them out. I think its all over Thailand, mainly because many of their products are also manufactured there!
Paris B says
Boo! Thanks for the update, Kel! Wish they’d open up a Boots here 😛
always found it a shame that boots never came to SG 🙁 this sounds like an affordable and good quality cleanser! the one thing i would really love to try are the boots no.7 cream blushes because they seem to be really highly raved, plus Lisa Eldrige uses them all the time in her videos. a trip to BKK seems to be in order 😀
Paris B says
Maybe Boots would have too much competition from Guardian and Watsons already 😀 They are after all selling more or less the same things. There’s still Thailand! 😉 I have tried a couple of No. 7 items but nothing ever really wowed me. That said, I know Lisa Eldridge has been working with nNo. 7 to develop some collections so maybe those are better quality. Will bear the cream blushes in mind for the next time I see a Boots pharmacy 😀
Why didn’t you start blogging earlier? hahahaha. Just kidding. I mean, I was at Phuket last year, and I stepped into Boots. I didn’t get a single thing, because I didn’t know about what No. 7 Cream Blushes. =(((
Do I seriously have to go to Bangkok this June? Thinking… …
Joy Chong says
Contrary to popular belief, which hazel is actually a pretty strong irritant due to the way it is processed for skincare. The high alcohol and citric acid might actually irritate the skin more. Somehow it seems to work for you which is great! If it were me I think my sensitive skin would go on the fritz.
Paris B says
Thanks for the heads up Joy. I’ve never had a problem with them. I don’t really have an issue with a lot of products and ingredients which is probably a good thing 😀 But those with sensitive skin should take note.
Rainy Days & Lattes says
Witch Hazel is a new thing for me.. I’ve heard of it most recently but thankfully explained on your blog 😀 I’ve been getting more acne lately and I think it’s due to my diet habits or hormones but I really want to try something with witch hazel in it. There are Boots products at my local Target so I hope to find this foaming face wash =)
Paris B says
Its actually been around a long time 😀 I remember using a Witch Hazel toner from the brand Blackmores way back in school (and that was aeons ago 😛 ) But I think we are seeing a bit of a revival in recent times 🙂 Hormonal breakouts are the worst. I never know what to do except to allow them to run their course 🙁 Hope your local Target stocks this face wash!
I’m using this as well! Picked up 2 bottles during a BOGOF offer during my Phuket holiday last year 🙂 Gotta love it’s cleansing and non- drying properties, not a fan of the astringent scent though :-X
Paris B says
Oh yay! BOGOF is the best isn’t it? 😀 I do like the smell – it smells so antiseptically clean! hehe…
I swear by Witch Hazel because my first ever toner in life is a witch hazel-based one from my beautician. I also learned the technique of using calamine lotion to dry up the zits overnight, and layer over pimple cream for best effects, from my beautician. All works like magic.
But this Boots wash is going to get me into trouble because I basically only see tonnes of SLS and alcohol. I broke out really bad from using alcohol denatured-based toner once, and at another time broke out from mild alcohol-based cleanser from Kiehl’s another time. My face just goes crazy when it senses too much alcohol.
Paris B says
Good to know that Witch Hazel works for you 🙂 I guess I’m quite lucky that my skin isn’t that sensitive. I can tolerate most chemicals which is probably a good thing since I’m not the sort to go natural and organic any time soon hehe… Its good to know what you are allergic to though. At least you know you won’t break out from ingredients that don’t suit your skin 🙂
haha. It’s always good when you have more choices and are not restricted by this or that. I can’t use half the skincare products in this world, high-end (Shisedo, Elizabeth Arden, Chanel) or not. I am going to safer products purely due to skin allergy, not because of beliefs. haha. =P
I used to see a lot of Boots in Bangkok a few years but didn’t know much about them. Thanks for sharing Paris. I’ll buy to try next time I’m in Bangkok 🙂 Hope your zits are kept at bay now.
Paris B says
Boots is such a fun place to go to. But then, I feel the same way about any pharmacy hehe… The zits are clearing up, which is a great relief!
Boots was bought over by Reckitt Benkiser many years ago in malaysia. Hard to find it here anymore. :/
Paris B says
Hmm… I didn’t know that, thanks! I never saw it for myself, only read about it being available but in very small quantities. Guess I’d need to head to Thailand for my Boots fix 🙂
Tea Tree and Witch Hazel are best cleansing foams. I have been using this since college and until now. It has great skin effects on me, aside from its cleansing effects it keeps my skin moisturized and youthful.
Tim Keating says
I would certainly not use a product on my face that contains so many synthetic chemicals, tea tree oil and witch hazel, or not. Have you even considered that one of the reasons your face tends to get those blemishes in the first place may be from all the toxic and irritating chemicals in your skin-care products?
For instance, according to the label in your photo, Boots Witch Hazel + Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash contains Benzophenone-4. According to the The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a group in the US that tracks chemicals in consumer products and the environment, “Sulisobenzone (benzophenone-4)… can cause skin and eye irritation.” And according to a study cited by the US National Institutes of Health, “Allergic contact dermatitis as well as photoallergic contact dermatitis reactions have been well documented as a consequence [of use in] cosmetics and toiletries…” (see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17295691).
As well, the EWG suggests that, when it comes to skin-care products, one “[t]ry to avoid ingredients that start with ‘PEG’ or have an ‘-eth’ in the middle (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).” The Boots product also contains PEG-5 Cocamide and Sodium Laureth Sulphate. The latter is a recent substitute for sodium laurel sulphate, a chemical that has been removed from a number of products in the US that were considered “natural” or “organic” due to consumer pressure (Tom’s of Maine has begun to phase it out of their deodorants but argued for it’s use for some time before succumbing to the pressure). “There is strong evidence that sodium laureth sulfate is an irritant on the skin and great concern that it can be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1, 4-dioxane.” (EWG, see: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706089/SODIUM_LAURETH_SULFATE/).
This products contains Sodium Methylparaben. According to EWG, “Methylparaben is in the paraben family of preservatives used by the food, pharmaceutical, and personal care product industries. Parabens mimic estrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptors.” (see http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703937/METHYLPARABEN/#)
This product also contains cocamidylpropyl betaine. According to EWG, “Cocamidopropyl betaine is a synthetic surfactant; it has been associated with irritation and allergic contact dermatitis, reactions that could be due to the ingredient itself or to impurities present in it, such as 3-dimethylaminopropylamine.” (see http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701520/COCAMIDOPROPYL_BETAINE/#)
Hexyl Cinnamal and Parfum:
Hexyl cinnamal is a scent component and can either be from naturally-occurring sources or synthetic. Parfum on a label “represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.” (EWG) (See http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702512/FRAGRANCE/#)
These are not things I want to put on my skin. As my largest organ, my skin serves to transfer all sorts of things from “outside” my body to the “inside”, incorporating those elements into the rest of my body’s functioning. In general, I want to avoid chemicals that are potentially hazardous, can lead to cancer and other health problems, mimic hormones, cause inflammation or irritate my skin.
Personally, I would opt for a more natural (preferably certified-organic) face wash. I have looked at Boots products in Thailand twice now, looking for face wash, toner, body wash and moisturizing lotion. Both times, I left the store empty-handed, disappointed by the plethora of petroleum-based and synthetic chemicals in the products.
While it is a challenge finding all-natural and organic skin-care products in Thailand, it is not impossible.